It is safe to say that I have a pizza obsession, and I don’t discriminate. Thin, thick, deep-dish, flatbread, I have had it all and love it all! It is also safe to say that my favorite pizza of all time is found at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach in San Francisco. Owner, Tony Gemignani, is no stranger to good pizza. Famed pizza tosser, he has beat out countless Italians in Naples’ World Pizza Championship. He now has several locations boasting his award-winning recipes across California and Las Vegas. I don’t know how he manages to do it all considering I always see him at one of his establishments in San Francisco whenever I’m in town. It is safe to say this man is a genius and having tried almost every pizza on his menu (regular and seasonal) I still become a bit star stuck when I see him.
Now on to the good stuff, my most recent trip might have been my favorite so far. We indulged in three exceptional pizzas, the Quail Egg, White Rose Potato, and Guanciale, the Cal Italia, and the Sausage and Stout. Part of the intrigue of the pizzas at Tony’s lies in the unique ingredients and preparation of each one. There are several different ovens that prepare pizzas at different times and temperatures, ensuring that each one is distinct and perfect.
QUAIL EGG, WHITE ROSE POTATO, AND GUANCIALE
mozzarella, white rose potatoes, rosemary, calabrese peppers, chorizo, quail eggs, guanciale (pork cheek), fromage blanc, lavender sea salt
This pizza is one of my favorites, for two reasons.
1. My mom loved it. – Let me explain, my mom doesn’t LOVE just anything. She is a very closed-minded and picky-eater, so when she went out on a limb and ordered this, I was frightened. She loved the spiciness of the peppers and chorizo, but refused to try the quail egg (which I still find unjustified and ridiculous).
2. The pizza is so unique – I loved everything about this pizza. The crust isn’t too crispy, but still doughy as to absorb the oils from the meats and eggs, and the level of spicy is right on the cusp of adventurous and enjoyable.
SAUSAGE AND STOUT
honey malted Guinness stout beer is worked into the dough, mozzarella beer sausage, caramelized onions, crushed red peppers, green onions and rectangles of fontina cheese, and drizzled in a beer salt and sweet a Guinness reduction
This was definitely a new favorite of mine, but I’m pretty sure it is seasonal, so I am trying desperately to not get too attached. I love beer and I love sausage, and this was the best fusion of both in a pizza. What more could you want? You can taste a subtle hint of Guinness (yes, the beer) in the dough with a sweet aftertaste. The beer sausage is meaty and cheesy all at once. The caramelized onions provide a buttery and richness to the pizza that compliments the large chunks of fontina and Guinness reduction drizzle. I would definitely recommend to try this before they take it off the menu!
WARNING: They only make 23 of them per day, so I recommend going for an early lunch; otherwise, you will never see this pizza in real life.
asiago, mozzarella, italian gorgonzola, croatian sweet ﬁg preserve, prosciutto di parma, parmigiano, balsamic reduction, no sauce
Now, on to the perfect pizza. This is my favorite pizza of all time. I know that is a big statement, and believe me, I take my comments very seriously. The mix of cheeses is heavenly with the perfect ratio of each. Prosciutto belongs on everything, but it was made for this pizza. If prosciutto is Romeo, then fig jam is Juliet. The combination of the two is everything. It is life. It is love. It is everything. I crave this pizza every day of my life, so much so that my boyfriend recreated it in a grilled cheese. While it was heavenly, it fell JUST short of the Cal Italia.
TRUE STORY: I witnessed someone tear up because this pizza was so good, and they knew they would never have anything like it again. All other pizza would pale in comparison.
Don’t take my word for it! I dare you to go to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and not walk out smiling, full, and wanting more. A word of advice, if you go for dinner, be prepared to wait at least 2 hours. This isn’t a huge issue if you walk a couple blocks down to Rogue Ale House to wait and drink with friends. If you aren’t the patient type, line up at 11:30AM and you will get a seat right when they open at noon. If you are lucky, you will run in to Tony himself!